Can this woman put me in jail?

Asked 6 months ago - Wadsworth, OH

I am in the process of starting a new business. A woman ordered her wedding flowers from me months ago. She paid me $220. I made her order, an was ready to ship it. She decided at the last minute she didn't want them and wants her money back. I told her since the order was already made there was no way I could refund her the entire amount. Now she is claiming to throw me in jail. I told her she could take me to small claims court. Can she have me arrested?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Robert Alan Klingler

    Pro

    Contributor Level 6

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I assume you have some kind of order form or contact showing that she ordered the flowers and that is why she paid you. The only possible action she could take I think is to contact the attorney general's office if she thinks you somehow violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, which it does not sound like you did. As far as jail and police are concerned, I agree that any law enforcement officer would tell this woman that this is a civil, not a criminal matter. In addition, you committed no crime that I can see. You should not worry about her threat of jail or having you arrested.

  2. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Many stores have no refund policies. It is not a crime to enforce a no refund policy.

    If the police are told of this dispute I imagine they will say it is strictly a civil matter.

    As to whether a small claims case will be filed, in my state it costs about a $150 filing fee to start one so if OH has the same kind of filing fee, your opponent may think it is not worth it to file, serve you the summons and then likely lose at trial for your imposed no refund policy

  3. Scott W Paris

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You are absolutely correct...this is a civil matter NOT a criminal matter. She can sue you for the funds if she wants. You seem to have a legitimate defense to such a claim should she make it.

  4. Russell Allen Moorhead

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . No,she can not have your arrested. Her dispute with you is a civil matter.

    For future reference you should have a detailed refund policy in place.

    If she does sue you in small claims court it appears that you have a good defense.

    Make certain that all your future customers are informed and aware of your refund policy before you do any work for them. Nothing can guarantee that you wont have another dissatisfied customer in the future. However, if the customer is fully informed of all the terms of your transaction you will have greater protection against this type of dispute.

  5. Daniel Mark Levine

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The decision to make criminal charges is up to the state, not a customer that cannot make up her mind about flowers.

  6. Andrew Michael Korduba

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . No, she cannot have you "arrested." This is a civil dispute. You should file a small claims lawsuit against her immediately or hire a lawyer to help you. The answer to your question depends upon the EVIDENCE you have: (1) do you have a WRITTEN CONTRACT or a VERBAL AGREEMENT? (2) When and how did she "cancel" the agreement/contract? and (3) do you have any "damanges" due to her untimely cancellation of the agreement? You should consult or hire a local, experienced lawyer to give you legal advice about how to proceed in this matter. Good luck!

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